Category: Word from the Wise

Interviews with mentors past and present about ministry.

Reflections on R13 conference

IMG_2359My reason for attending was to gain insight into the direction of culture & the church. The information and input were critical to setting up LFC’s direction. At the end of the day, the most important question at a ministry conference is who did God design your church to be. (Yes, in know it’s Jesus’ church.) I’ve heard and seen many churches get shipwrecked by returning pastors. Prior to the conference, friends reminded me of that fact and that the vision God gives me is important but as a pastor my job is to draw our the vision God gives the church.

Stop hedging
“Just say you like someone. I like Mark Driscoll. Nobody agrees with everything about a person. I don’t even agree with myself sometimes.” ~ Rick Warren
This jumped out at me for several reasons. 1) I’m often asked why I like XYZ, followed by all the reasons I should like XYZ. 2) I was anti-Driscoll for a while and then grew to tolerate him. Seeing how other leaders affected him and sharpened(softened ironically) his ministry I figured I should not hedge. I like Mark too. 3) I’ve frequently heard Rick Warren criticized, especially by followers of John MacArthur. Rick Warren is the first guy I’ve seen get down on his knees and pray for pastors out of all the conferences I’ve been too. I like Rick too!

Serving Jesus hurts
“When, not if… When, not if… WHEN, not if… I said, when, not if you are betrayed…” ~Crawford Loritts
The speakers talked about the wounds of ministry. The larger your influence the more criticism you will take. Betrayal is part of the ministry package. The danger in hurt is acting out of hurt. We must serve out of the Gospel in the Spirit’s power. The temptation to act out of hurt is great and doing such will not produce good fruit. Pain is part of the sanctifying work God is doing through us. Ministry is about being and becoming who God designed you to be.

Vision isn’t about you

“If you think your vision is about you and it’s your vision, then you will hurt people and fail in the vision.” ~Crawford Lorries

Each speaker warned about our identity being in our vision or in the church. What matters more than our vision is our character, who we are when no one is looking. While the push was to grasp a God-given vision, it is our growth in Christ that matters more. If our identity is in our vision and our ministry we won’t let things go and give things away – requirements of a pastor. We are given a message to pass on. (I like Crawford too!)

John MacArthur disappoints
There was no anger or bitterness at John. Many highly view him as a man of God and appreciate his passion to teach the Word. The feeling of John not showing up felt like a let down to people. All the talk about it being a stunt or a trap for John was not true. The X3Watch booth with the cardboard cut out of John and Mark was classic. We laughed at ourselves too. After all, the host speaker called us all stupid. That said, John was respected and he disappointed.

Wake up church!
“Stop practicing repentance leads to hypocrisy, stop preaching repentance leads to heresy.” ~Mark Driscoll
The church needs to actively and intentionally change gears and get back on message. A major paradigm shift in culture has come and gone. The last session unveiled a massive research project on the unchurched or de-churched. Key to this is that the meaning of tolerance has changed. The new definition of tolerance is highly intolerant of Christianity. I’m reserving judgement on “riot evangelism,” but I do believe that love & courage can go together.

The bottom line:
The conference and divine appointments at the conference were well worth the investment. I learned a ton, met with God, and enjoyed the Seattle coffee I missed so much. For sure, I miss judged Mark Driscoll in a few ways. I think the church can learn a lot from him and Mars Hill just as they try to learn lots from others. Perhaps the message of humility is good for all churches to hear.

Sharpen the focus

Ask God to help you to see things the way he sees them.
We can do more, but we can’t do it all.

You need a laser like focus from god.
1) keep it simple
2) have fun

Note: it takes time to draw your hearts together

F- faith trust god to give your the right focus
O- obedience will we obey?
C- courage “courage the back bone of leadership” book by Gus lee
U- understanding 1 chor 12- men of war they understood the times
S- souls Luke 19:10

The church is the one place that exists for the people who aren’t there yet.
If you’re full and choose to not build or add a service here is what you’re saying:
“We love you but we’re out of space so you can go to hell.”

What happens when you have a laser like focus…
Know what and why
Know how to budget
Know who to hire and why
Know your targets
Silos go down and unity increases

Workshop by Bruce Aubrey

Disciples who make disciples

Disciples who make disciples
Mat 28:19ff

“There is a difference between talking about something and taking people with you.” ~ M. Blackaby

There is a difference between the crowd and the disciples. Jesus took a group of guys with him.

Luke 6
There are different levels of followers. At the cross thy all speed out.
Even Jesus knew he could only spread himself so thin.
Jesus prayed about it.
Who will continue your ministry after you?
What keeps your from giving up? It’s knowing God brought them to you.
Notice the rag tag group

Sermon by Mike Blackaby

Who stole the easy yoke Matthew 11

Who stole the easy yoke

“Sometimes you’re the idiot.”
Listen, there are jerks. Even one of the twelve was a jerk.

Matthew 11:28-30
What happened to the yoke being light & easy

R- be realistic
E- enjoy what you have
L- learn the way the world works
A- allies are important
X- exchange your stress for his strength

Pace of grace- those in a hurry won’t stop to help

Sermon by Charles Lowery

Fire extinguishers Acts 15

fire extinguishers Acts 15:1-35

Some people are more comfortable with old problems rather than new solutions.

How does a person enter a permanent relationship with God?

Make sure your striving of Faith are fuel for the fire and not extinguisher.

1) pushing tradition over truth.
2) Pushing rules over relationships.
3) Pushing the external over the internal
4) Pushing preferences over people

We have fire extinguishers because we don’t see people the way god sees people.

Hills to die on:
Deity of Jesus
I reenact and authority of bible
Salvations by grace through faith

Sermon by Dr James Merit

Run with endurance Hebrews 12

Run with endurance Hebrews 12

2 Timothy 2
Fight like a solder
Run like an athlete
Work like a farmer

Hebrews 12
Run the race
Know the Reason to run
Remember while we run
Walk in righteousness while we run
We need to resolve to finish this run

Trust the promise of god
Focus on Jesus

Sermon by Bruce Aubrey

The secret place Matthew 6

The secret place Matthew 6

Why does the mission not happen?
We don’t spend time with God.

Why the secret place?
Ask seek and knock.
Place to receive revelation
Place to connect
Place to fall in love
Place to win spiritual warfare
Place where you receive a break through

Sermon by Pastor George Jackman

A productive life John 15

A productive life thoughts from John 15
Connect to the vine through relationship with God
Stay connected through growing fellowship with Christ
Rely on The Lord and not yourself
Never under estimate the importance of prayer!
What brings god glory? Much fruit

Where’s the fruit?
Notice the progression
No fruit, fruit, more fruit, much fruit

Sermon by Bruce Aubrey